HELP: 89 mustang. 2.3 not sure where to start
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Old December 24th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #1
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HELP: 89 mustang. 2.3 not sure where to start


im sure there are places to look on here for this information but i dont wanna search for days. i just got a 89 mustang and am lookin to do some cheap performance mods in all aspects. anyone have any good recommendations to start with. id like to make it look and perform better than stock.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #2
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Cai, gears, udp's, exhaust, short shift. The works. Just search bolt on's
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Old December 25th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #3
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is blocking off the egr as helpful as i've read. and whats the easiest and cheapest way to do a cold air intake
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Old December 25th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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Not to be a dick but if you had chosen to open your eyes the very first sticky in this forum is a 2.3L N/A performance thread. I'll make it even easier for you.

2.3 N/A Performance Thread

EGR delete isn't a huge help honestly. The N/A motors require a lot of money and time to get significant gains out of them. Better of just leaving it stock and doing a 2.3T swap or 5.0 conversion.
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If i put flowmasters on my lawn mower will it sould like a gt?
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Old December 25th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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well i read the performance thread but i didnt know exactly where to start on a budget. if i had 500 extra bucks to blow id be doin everything i could outta that thread. and whats the cost of a 2.3T swap anyways.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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Usually i can find a block for with head for about 200-300 locally then it needs a rebuild. So rebuilt head is 165 and around 4-600 for the bottom end rebuild. Get a turbo for it and motor is done, just need an ecu for it and to repin the wiring harness. I think I did my 2.3T swap total for like around 2k.
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If i put flowmasters on my lawn mower will it sould like a gt?
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Old December 25th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #7
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alright well i may do that in the future it sounds like it makes good project for the money and power. is there any common issues i may find or no.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #8
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not really, it was pretty stream lined for us. I actually had a buddy locally who's done these swaps quite a bit and he was there to help. I think the hardest part of it was the wiring harness. Everything else was just plug in play.
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Originally Posted by Hourofpain
If i put flowmasters on my lawn mower will it sould like a gt?
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Old January 1st, 2010, 01:46 PM   #9
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so maybe im just retarded. but is there a way to just cut out one of the cats and put a straight pipe in or would i have to cut a way before and after it and make the bends and stuff. i bought a 18 inch straight pipe from autozone thinkin it'd be just that easy but i just looked and there are bends right before andafter the the second cat.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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I just got myself one of these 89 2.3L's today, im gonna start workin on mine tomorrow.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #11
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I just got myself one of these 89 2.3L's today, im gonna start workin on mine tomorrow.

Be careful, they are horribly addictive!
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #12
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Uh oh, lol.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by akatagyourit View Post
Better of just leaving it stock and doing a 2.3T swap or 5.0 conversion.
This is the truth. The 2.3L N/A is a Pinto motor built for fuel economy, get rid of it for either a turbo 2.3L (usually referred to as 2.3T) or a 5.0L. Swapping to either motor involves time, money, and above all else you need to RESEARCH what you are doing. The major difference between these motors is what you are looking for in your specific application. The 5.0 will be cheap but need more extras to make it work, the 2.3T motor may be more expensive to purchase but is more of a plug-and-play application. Stock-for-stock the 2.3T will likely yield similar, if not better, performance numbers compared to the 5.0.

5.0L swap:
Being a V8 going into a 4-banger, you will need to do a little more front suspension and fuel system modifications to accommodate it. You will need to do a k-member swap to hold the 302; you may also find yourself wanting to use heavier springs and shocks depending on the condition of what you have now. The advantage to going this way is that the 5.0 is extremely popular, used parts are cheap and plentiful, and there is a wide selection of performance parts on the aftermarket. A potential benefit here would running a carburetor, depending on how good you are with fuel injection.
If you are looking to roast rear tires, rumble at stop lights, and build a naturally aspirated motor then this would be my recommendation. Other items that will most likely have to be examined and/or replaced include the rear differential, rear axles, the transmission, and wider wheels/tires depending on torque output. Information on swapping the motor and building it is quite abundant, finding a combination of performance parts to meet your desired power output is a google search away.

2.3T swap:
Not as common in the aftermarket or to find parts for, but don't think it can't be fast (and performance prices are not far from the 5.0). The 2.3T is a strong initial starting point for a performance build, even by modern standards. For swapping in a stock motor, you won't need to do too much to the car itself initially to accept the motor, probably just fuel system upgrades and other miscellaneous items. Want more power? Turn up the boost. This motor is capable of HUGE power for a 4-cylinder: John Huber's Mustang, the SVO, the Thunderbird S/C, the RS200 rally car (BEAST!!!!!), and even swapped Rangers are all good examples of what it can do. The aftermarket is considerably smaller, but the stuff available is generally very good quality.

My personal pick:
For a dedicated street or street/strip build, I'm 2.3T all the way.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #14
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I've been running the car around the past couple days, it's dangerously quick, trapping at 53mph in the quarter.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 10:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by NO_PI_NO_POWER View Post
I've been running the car around the past couple days, it's dangerously quick, trapping at 53mph in the quarter.
Careful, you might be able to go over the speed limit in that car!
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